Funding crisis hitting town’s needy animals
ANIMAL charities in Macclesfield say they are facing the biggest crisis they have ever known.
Three animal sanctuaries have told the Express that are facing record numbers of abandoned pets and are having to turn away animals.
It comes after volunteers at the RSPCA branch for Macclesfield, South East Cheshire and Buxton took the drastic decision to put a complete stop on animals until the end of the year because they can no longer afford to help them.
Animal Sanctuary and Angel’s Rescue also say they’ve had to turn animals away as the number of abandoned pets rises.
The RSPCA has blamed the economic downturn for the problem saying that increasing numbers of pet owners are struggling to meet food vets’ bills.
Kittens have recently been found abandoned near Bollington Leisure Centre and on the Weston Estate.
Helena Brailsford, 43, RSPCA funding coordinator and trustee who fosters cats, said she’s scared about what will happen to animals they turn away.
Helena, who lives on Ullswater, said: “If we can’t take animals, then people abandon them, dump them at animal centres or vets in boxes.
“They may become a cruelty case and I’ve known animals to be drowned in canals.
“If we can’t take an animal from the animal hospital they may have to put it to sleep.
“The demand on services is higher than ever, with the recession people can’t afford to look after their animals and our financial challenges are greater than ever.”
The RSPCA does not have its own centre to care for animals, but instead fosters them out to local animal lovers.
However, they say the homes of volunteers are full and that they can no Animal Sanctuary, on Buxton Old Road. The trust currently cares for 21 dogs, 63 cats, five longer afford to pay for private boardings.
Helena said: “We can’t keep up with vets bills and boarding fees.
“It’s so upsetting turning animals away. We’re still getting calls from people in Macclesfield every day. It’s the worst situation I’ve seen.”
Windyway Head Farm is owned by Wendy Dawber and the sanctuary on site is run by her son, Don and daughter Sally Wilson.
Sally said: “This summer we’ve had scores of pregnant cats and abandoned kittens, more than any of us can remember at Windyway. We found six kittens abandoned in Astbury woods, four kittens left at the Bollington Leisure Centre next to bins, rabbits and four guinea pigs.
Adam said: “This charity is very close to my heart and it’s a great honour to be part of it as a patron.
“I really want to help the Windyway Trust and all the animals in the sanctuary the best I can.
“I love all animals, particularly dogs, and have had several rescue dogs as pets.” and six kittens were found on the Weston Estate.
“And there are so many kittens just left on our doorstep.”
Emma Ryder, from Angel’s Rescue, which is also based in Macclesfield, said: “This is definitely the worst we’ve ever seen it. We’re seeing more animals in need than ever before.”
The RSPCA branch, which started in 1989, takes in animals rescued by the charity’s inspectors or handed over by owners, which first go to Greater Manchester Animal Hospital for neutering, microchipping and vaccinating.
There are only four foster homes for dogs, six for rabbits and 10 cat fosterers in the whole area which includes Styal,
Christine Earles, chair of the Windyway Trust, which has a charity shop on Chestergate, said: “We are delighted that Adam has agreed to join us. He’s going to be perfect for the Trust, and help us raise awareness of the work we do.”
Windyway recently took in two pregnant six-month-old cats that were sisters.
Days after they Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Prestbury, Congleton, Buxton, Alsager and Sandbach.
The team was left £60,000 in a will at the end of 2012 to cover private boarding fees, which costs up to £6.50 per cat per night, £3 per rabbit, £10 for dogs - a total of up to £5,000 a month.
Now the money has run out so the committee decided to take the heartbreaking decision to stop taking animals, except when there is a vacancy in its foster homes.
Last year the branch took in 371 animals - 78 dogs, 91 cats, 128 rabbits and 74 others including arrived, they each had three kittens on consecutive days and lovingly shared the care of their newly born.
Sally said: “We didn’t know which kittens belonged to whom but it was great to see the cat sisters working together as a family.
“It was a wonderful thing to witness. The cats and kittens have now been rehomed.” hamsters, guinea pigs and birds. The number of animals each month ranged from 40 to 90, an average of around 75. Helena said: “The branch is not centrally funded, we exist through donations and fundraising. We need people to help with funds and become foster carers so we can help needy animals.”
To donate or foster animals go to rspcamacclesfield.org.uk or call 01625 669620.
Call Windyways on 01625 422246 or go to windyway.org
Call Angel’s Rescue on 01625 421467 or go to angelsrescue.co.uk
A fun quiz night in aid of the Windyway Animal Sanctuary will be held at the Poynton Royal British Legion on October 17. For information, go to windyway.org.
There is also an RSPCA fundraising Auction Evening with Adam Partridge at Macclesfield Golf Club on Thursday, November 6.
●» RSPCA funding coordinator Helena Brailsford